Greetings, Shredderz! I love all kinds of surfboards, but I’ll always have a special fondness for the clean curves of Seventies single fins.
I’ve featured Russell Surfboards many times on the blog, and it remains one of my favorite labels. Robert Russell Brown started shaping in the Sixties, and by 1967 opened up the first Russell Surfboards storefront. Russell himself has since passed away, but I’m happy to report that the label is still going strong.
It’s impossible to discuss Russell Surfboards in the Seventies without mentioning The Brotherhood, although it’s not exactly clear to me where one starts and the other begins. I have seen The Brotherhood used to refer to a tight knit group of Newport Beach locals. I also believe the term is used to describe the Huntington Beach factory where Russell boards were built. Check out this Bruce Jones balsa board, which is inscribed “glassed by the boys at The Brotherhood.” Finally, The Brotherhood branding made its way to many Russell boards — check out this laminate, for example.
Pictured above is a 7’0″ Seventies Russell Surfboards single fin that was sent to me by a reader named Dan. I am calling it a Russell because there is no branding anywhere on the board other than a simple hand drawn “By the Brotherhood” logo.
It is a gorgeous surfboard. I love the indigo resin tint on the deck, and I imagine it must have really popped back when the board was brand new. Even though the board is clearly an older one, it’s still in great shape, and I personally don’t mind a little suntan. The outline looks awesome, too — check out the wings towards the tail.
You can also see a clean white pin line along the rails.
My personal favorite part is the leash loop. I love the attention to detail, as evidenced by the multicolored layup. This is a beautiful board, yes, but what I really dig are the subtle touches that take it over the top. There’s nothing loud about this shape, but the closer you look, whether it’s the tiny hand drawn logo, the pin lines, or the leash loop, the more you are rewarded.
I’ve frequently featured Shawn Stussy-shaped Russell boards, but I’m not sure who might have crafted this one. I’m told there is no signature anywhere on it. I think it’s possible it could be a Stussy, but I have no way to verify. I am leaning towards Mike O’Day, who decorated some of his boards with detailed line work.
Thanks again to Dan for sending over photos of this stunning Russell / Brotherhood single fin!